Microsoft has announced that its Robotics Developer Studio (RDS), a big package of programming and simulation tools, is now available to anyone for free.
The robotics group is also making the source code of selected program samples and other modules available online, hoping to improve collaboration among users. In particular, Microsoft wants to entice the growing community of hobbyists, do-it-yourselfers, and weekend robot builders.
RDS is a comprehensive set of development tools, samples, and tutorials. It includes a visual programming interface, a popular 3-D simulator, and also Microsoft’s CCR and DSS runtime toolkit.
But despite its broad range of tools, RDS works best with the specific robot platforms it supports, including iRobot’s Create, LEGO Mindstorms, CoroWare, Parallax, and others.